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Avalane of the Flying Cactus
"Why, by the white of Merlin's beard, did you use a cactus?" Kalliope shouted as she bounded down the stairs, three by three.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time!" Avalane called from somewhere behind her.
They were in hot pursuit of a flying cactus. The potted desert plant soared through the corridors, flapping its thick, spiny, branch arms as it screeched "CHEESE" at the top of whatever it used for lungs. Along the way, it dropped toasted bread crumbs and melted cheese off its spines.
According to Avalane, she had been trying to transfigure a cactus into a grilled cheese sandwich, but something went horribly wrong.
"What spell did you use?! Neither grilled cheese sandwiches nor cacti have any kind of bird characteristics." Kalliope skidded into an abrupt about face as the reckless plant/bird turned a sharp corner and made a break for the courtyard.
"I can't remember... it seems to be fairing pretty well with those arms," Avalane panted.
"I think... by this point... they're wings.
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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